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Everything posted by brightphoebus

  1. Stranger In A Strange Land - Robert A. Heinlein
  2. Love In A Cold Climate - Nancy Mitford
  3. Don't leave education, Hazel! It needs people like you more than ever. Find a place where you will be appreciated and where you will be able to set the agenda now you are so well qualified. Good luck.
  4. There's a very illuminating chapter in James Wood's book How Fiction Works called Narrating on just this topic. He examines first person and third person - free indirect style- narration with loads of examples. It helped me see how an author inhabits and conveys character. I can't recommend this book highly enough, though I have to re-read it often to re-grasp what lies behind the alchemy that happens in a well-written book (and why awful books grate). It's dead easy to read but harder to retain.
  5. Have The Men Had Enough? - Margaret Forster
  6. This novel by newcomer, Australian Sarah Schmidt spotlights the murders of Mr and Mrs Borden in the USA in 1892. The rhyme "Lizzie Borden" might jog your memories, but did she or didn't she do it? It's an honourable debut, and worth a read, just about. It's terrific at helping you feel the claustrophobia of family life, the sisters bound by the death of their mother, the love and hate felt by turns towards each other, their father and stepmother. The physicality of life held in the opressive heat of summer trapped in the house. Schmidt doesn't spare you details of the stench of people, food and animals living and dead, and indeed eventually you tire of the overblown and hyperbolic descriptions of smell however much you welcomed them at first as an antidote to 'clean' and unrealistic historical accounts. There are some annoying red herrings too, the introduction of a spurious character who ultimately has no bearing on the story. Still and all it was a good read, especially the first half and if you canter towards the end you won't miss much. ***(*)
  7. Thanks, second operation since last July and cross fingers it will all be in the past soon!
  8. I would normally say I prefer reading to myself, but I was recently in hospital and listened to James Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man when unable to read. It was the BBC Radio 4 Book at Bedtime, very sensitively read by the actor Andrew Scott. It was a revelation, and I honestly feel I had never properly understood the novel until it had been read aloud to me. Maybe Joyce's prose, poetic and lyrical, lends itself particularly well to being spoken aloud?
  9. The Well Of Loneliness - Radclyffe Hall
  10. Hazel, how great to see you back on BGO. It sounds like you have laid the perfect conditions at home for your son to reach his full potential with minimal anxiety and must take such credit for that. I too have worked with children with autism, from the earliest ages until five years, but also have a niece and nephew with autism and Asperger's, and a younger brother with Down's Syndrome and autism and agree that it packs a different punch when it is in the family. Nephew with Asperger's is very happy, has two degrees and a terrific job in a bank where his particular skills are used and valued. It souds like your boy knows what he needs and wants and you and your family will be able to support him all the way.
  11. Thanks, iff, I'd forgotten about this novel but will remind myself to put it on the tbr list.
  12. In Search Of Lost Time - Marcel Proust
  13. The Lady With The Dog - Anton Chekhov (a feeling I've used this one before...)
  14. The Narrow Road To The Deep North - Richard Flanagan
  15. 41. Swing Time Zadie Smith ****(*) 40. The Plot Against America (RR) Philip Roth ****** 39. Prosperity Drive Mary Morrissy ***** 38. Tin Man Sarah Winman *** 36. Autumn Ali Smith **** 35. The Sparsholt Affair Alan Hollinghurst **** 34. The Golden Legend Nadeem Aslam ****(*) 33. In The Unlikely Event Judy Blume **(*) 32. East West Street Philippe Sands ***** 31. Sisters Lily Tuck **(*) 30. You Think It, I'll Say It Curtis Sittenfield ***** 29. The Largesse of the Sea Maiden Denis Johnson ****(*) 28. Less Andrew Sean Greer ***** 27. Fictions and Lies Irina Ratushinskaya ***(*) 26. Dunbar Edward St Aubyn ****(*) 25. Lullaby Leila Slimani **** 24. We That Are Young Preti Taneja ***(*) 23. Brother David Charinady ***** 22. Submission Michel Houellebecq ** 21. A Kiss Before Dying Ira Levin (RR) ***** 20. In A Free State V.S.Naipaul ***** 18. A World Of Adventure And Delight Akhil Sharma *** 18. How To Be Both Ali Smith (RR) ****(*) 17. Asymmetry Lisa Halliday ***** 16. Fugitive Pieces Ann Michaels ***** 15. Conversatons With Friends Sally Rooney **** 14. A Long Way From Home Peter Carey ****(*) 13. Offshore Penelope Fitzgerald (RR) ***** 12. The Lie Tree Frances Hardinge **** 11. Lincoln In The Bardo George Saunders ***** 10. The Bodhran Makers John Keane *** 9. See What I Have Done Sarah Schmidt ***(*) 8. Lost Hearts In Italy Andrea Lee ** 7. All Grown Up Jami Attenberg **** 6. The Courage Consort and The Hundred and Ninety-nine Steps Michel Faber ***(*) 5. Freya Anthony Quinn ***(*) 4. All That Man Is David Szalay (RR) ***** 3. American Pastoral Philip Roth (RR) ***** 2. Reservoir 13 Jon McGregor ***** 1. At The Existentialist Cafe Sarah Bakewell *****
  16. The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time - Mark Haddon
  17. How Green Was My Valley - Richard Llewellyn
  18. The Story Of a New Name - Elena Ferrante
  19. Oh curses, I thought it was the whole thing. It didn't seem abridged...
  20. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
  21. It was read in its entirety on BBC Radio 4 by Simon Russell Beale - fab!
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